From 1 July 2021, changes to the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) by the Australian Government will take effect. Several items listed on the MBS will be amended, with changes relating to general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, and cardiac services. [1]

These changes come after the Government’s MBS Review Taskforce recently recommended rebates be modernised to align them with contemporary best practice and ensure improved patient outcomes.

The schedule of fees set by the Australian Government is being changed. This will mean a decrease in rebates for some procedures paid by Medicare because they are no longer being widely used by surgeons or have been superseded by less invasive procedures, like keyhole surgery in comparison to open surgery. Most Medicare services however are now indexed and many rebates will increase. For example, benefits paid by Medicare for orthopaedic surgery will rise.

We do not anticipate any increased out of pocket costs for members, however if you are concerned and have booked for a procedure from July onwards, we would encourage you to contact your doctor to discuss how the changes may affect you.

1. Australian Government Department of Health, 18 June 2021, July News, accessed 23 June 2021, {http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/news-210701}.

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